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Public service broadcasting increasingly relevant

Public service broadcasting increasingly relevant

The government has reasserted the importance of public service broadcasting as part of the push to develop New Zealand’s national identity, Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey said today.

New Zealand and international broadcasters are meeting today at a conference in Wellington today to debate the future development of public service broadcasting in this country. It follows changes in recent years driven both by technology and government’s increased emphasis on the cultural and civic importance of broadcasting.

Steve Maharey said public broadcasters continue to have a vital place in New Zealand, but their needs to be much more debate about they should fulfil their mandate.

“The government regards audiences as citizens, not simply as consumers, and has reclaimed expected of it in most nation’s to ensure New Zealander’s diverse needs as citizens are met by broadcasters.

“The principles of public service broadcasting have been revitalised and placed at the heart of the government's broadcasting agenda. Those principles are: universality of availability, universality of appeal, provision for minorities, serving the public good, a commitment to education, independence and autonomy, competition in good programming rather than in numbers, and a liberal and open environment for programme makers.

“Public service broadcasting in the 21st century does not provide a haven for a nostalgic view of the past. Nor is it about producing ‘worthy but dull’ programming.

“In order to get the ‘mix’ right it’s important that we continue to foster a lively national conversation about how we want to see ourselves and our aspirations explored and portrayed. This conference has begun that conversation,” Steve Maharey said.

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